Volume 447, Number 1, February III 2006
|Page(s)||221 - 233|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||27 January 2006|
Search for massive protostar candidates in the southern hemisphere
II. Dust continuum emission
INAF – Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 INAF – Istituto di Radioastronomia, via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
3 INAF – Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario, via Fosso del Cavaliere, 00133 Roma, Italy
Accepted: 11 October 2005
In an ongoing effort to identify and study high-mass protostellar candidates we have observed in various tracers a sample of 235 sources selected from the IRAS Point Source Catalog, mostly with , with the SEST antenna at millimeter wavelengths. The sample contains 142 Low sources and 93 High, which are believed to be in different evolutionary stages. Both sub-samples have been studied in detail by comparing their physical properties and morphologies. Massive dust clumps have been detected in all but 8 regions, with usually more than one clump per region. The dust emission shows a variety of complex morphologies, sometimes with multiple clumps forming filaments or clusters. The mean clump has a linear size of ~ pc, a mass of ~ for a dust temperature K, an H2 density of cm-3, and a surface density of 0.4 g cm-2. The median values are 0.4 pc, , cm-3, and 0.14 g cm-2, respectively. The mean value of the luminosity-to-mass ratio, , suggests that the sources are in a young, pre-ultracompact Hii phase. We have compared the millimeter continuum maps with images of the mid-IR MSX emission, and have discovered 95 massive millimeter clumps non-MSX emitters, either diffuse or point-like, that are potential prestellar or precluster cores. The physical properties of these clumps are similar to those of the others, apart from the mass that is ~3 times lower than for clumps with MSX counterpart. Such a difference could be due to the potential prestellar clumps having a lower dust temperature. The mass spectrum of the clumps with masses above is best fitted with a power-law d with , consistent with the Salpeter (1955) stellar IMF, with . On the other hand, the mass function of clumps with masses is better fitted with a power law of slope , more consistent with the mass function of molecular clouds derived from gas observations.
Key words: stars: circumstellar matter / stars: formation / ISM: clouds / radio continuum: ISM / infrared: ISM
© ESO, 2006
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